Heidegger: Decisionism and Quietism
by Mark Basil Tanzer, published by Humanity Books (December 2002)
In this rigorously argued and clearly written discussion of these crucial questions regarding Heidegger's thought, philosopher Mark Basil Tanzer argues that Heidegger's questioning of rationality and his rejection of objectivity did not cause him to abandon the idea of norms, or to embrace the arbitrariness of irrationality implied by his critics. Tanzer suggests that Heidegger's critics have fundamentally misunderstood his idea of freedom, the key to which lies in Heidegger's notion of resoluteness. Understood as the individual's realization of freedom or the activity by which Dasein becomes what it properly is, resoluteness is essentially a moral criterion that is indeterminate but violable. Freedom is thus highly constrained through resoluteness. In this way, Heidegger's idea of freedom is quite different from the typical existentialist notion of freedom as unrestricted arbitrariness. This profound yet accessible analysis makes a major contribution to Heidegger studies.